After partially recovering from a harrowing and vicious dog attack, Constable Carla Duncan did something no one expected.
She went to the pound to see Buddy, the pit bull that had nearly killed her.
It was part of the process, she says, which helped her "take back control".
Sunday, July 1, 2018 had started as a routine day in uniform for Constable Duncan. She had been out of the police college for 14 months and she was loving her time in "the job".
About 10.30am, she went with another officer to attend a routine theft investigation in Rivett. The man they were visiting had been the primary suspect in the theft of a disability scooter.
What was to follow, captured in a chilling audio played in court, put one police officer's life at serious risk and set in motion an awful chain of events.
Carla Duncan had grown up in Townsville and her family had always had dogs around as pets, including a German Shepherd and a Rottweiler.
In fact, her dream job on joining the federal police was to work with the canine team at Majura as a general purpose dog handler. Jobs with the canine team rarely come up so she was content to wait her time and keep applying.
The police knew the offender's pit bull, Buddy, posed a potential danger and warned him three times to keep the barking dog secured inside the house while they all stepped outside into the rear courtyard to have a discussion about the stolen property.
"It was a relatively straightforward job but I had a feeling that something wasn't quite right," Constable Duncan said.
Instead of keeping the dog inside, the offender threw the screen door wide open.
As the dog attacked circled around one officer then turned on Constable Duncan. It leapt at her throat and as she threw out one arm to protect herself, its jaws locked on and gouged her hand, de-gloving her left ring finger.
The dog released, ran around and tore at her right calf and hip. A shot was fired by her partner and startled it. Seconds later, it ran at her again as she was pinned up against a wall, grabbed her calf a second time and she kicked out to free herself.
If not for the timely intervention of a neighbour, who bravely grabbed the dog by the collar and dragged it inside the house, she really thought she might die.
"I was begging for help from the man next door. I knew if I had bent down or lost my footing, it would be at my throat and I was finished," she said.
As soon as she removed her left glove, she saw exposed tendons and felt incredible pain.
"I was trying to walk but started going into shock and losing consciousness. My hand felt like it was on fire and I couldn't stop shaking," she said.
"I kept saying sorry to everyone because I thought I'd let everyone down."
In the attack, the dog had nearly ripped her calf muscle off and had fully exposed the bone beneath.
In hospital Constable Duncan was on antibiotics and heavy pain-killing medication for several days and needed sedation to sleep before her first scheduled bout of surgery.
After repairing her torn body with about 100 stitches, the surgeon told her it was as if he'd worked on a shark attack victim.
I knew if I had bent down or lost my footing, it would be at my throat and I was finished.Constable Carla Duncan
The outpouring of sympathy and support from her police colleagues, she said, was overwhelming.
"For me, that's when I found out why they call it the blue family," she said.
"The next day all these flowers started arriving. So many police came to visit; AFP welfare, my sergeants. Ma'am [Chief Police Officer Justine] Saunders came to see me in hospital and the [AFP] Commissioner called me.
"The union supported me; I felt hugely supported by everyone."
Recovery has been slow and painful but equally difficult, too, has been the post-traumatic stress to the extent that if she was out walking and heard a dog bark, she couldn't go any further.
The high rate of police and emergency services workers' exposure to post-traumatic stress disorder has been a significant point of recent discussion and Constable Duncan said she was careful to work through a defined process and recognise she needed help.
"I suffered a lot of post-traumatic stress; it was awful. I couldn't even leave my house at one stage," she said.
She credits her partner, who is also a serving police officer, in getting her back into the gym and returning her to a routine.
"The hardest part was not being able to do my day-to-day stuff so for me, getting back into the gym was really important."
Constable Duncan said some people who were traumatised never wanted to face that fear again and she understood that.
"But that's not me; I never want to be a victim," she said.
Reaching out for help early and developing a path to recovery was very important. Since she loves animals, she wanted to bring dogs back into her life again so she conceived of a plan where her friends would bring their dogs over to visit.
"We started with very small dogs and worked upwards," she said with a laugh. "But it worked."
The police canine unit, too, became involved. After she became confident around dogs again, the canine handlers brought a German Shepherd to her and she even bravely volunteered to wear a training mitt on the same left arm that had been mauled.
Going to visit Buddy at the pound, she said, was also an important psychological step in her recovery.
"I don't hold any resentment against the dog for what happened," she said.